Friday, June 27, 2008

Scales...


I've had a love/hate relationship with scales my entire life. I've always fought with scales and rarely liked what they said. Last night, I found a scale that I actually like...the chromatic scale. I had my first guitar lesson last night and learned a scale and a few chords. I learned much more than that though. I learned:
1. My fingers on my left hand are incredibly wimpy. I knew I couldn't open jars with them anymore, but I forgave them for that since I have one of those rubber thingies that helps. A little arthritis, some carpal tunnel thrown in...yeah, they haven't been holding up their end of the bargain for years. But now it's time for them to step up...I can't play guitar without them. So, they're on a strict strength-training program now. After my lesson, the boss took me to The Guitar Center to get one of these GripMaster gizmos. No more slacking off for these fingers!
2. Time passes very quickly when you're learning something new. I couldn't believe that the half hour was over and I was done. My fingers and arm were well aware of it though!
3. I'm not too old to learn new things. I was worried about this one. I know I've learned a lot over the years, but actual, intentional learning? A lesson? Hadn't done that for a very long time. I've learned new quilting techniques, new jobs when necessary, new ways to cook...but I did most of that on my own. No one has tried to teach me anything specific in a very long time. Fortunately, Van is patient and I'm much more confident than I was before last night.
4. I really need to have short fingernails!
The quilt under the GripMaster is my current project. It's turning out very cute. It needs one more border, some applique and then quilting...and probably more pink!




Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thank you!

A few weeks ago, Peg from Happy In Quilting had a giveaway, and I was the lucky winner! The prize was this gorgeous quilt that she had made. It arrived here a few days ago and it's just beautiful. I have a lot of quilts that I've made, but none are as special as those that have been made for me. There is just something wonderful about a quilt that is made just for you, given as a gift. So thank you, Peg...I will always treasure this quilt!


Peg also included a few treats with the quilt. There was a package of eucalyptus candies, which I'd show you, but Grace has really enjoyed them! There was also a tube of Vegemite. I had no idea what it was, I only knew it from the old Men at Work song. I haven't tried it yet, maybe for lunch today?

We've been out of school for a week now. Why is it the last 3 days of school seemed to take a year, but the first week out of school flew by? We've been busy, but things are starting to settle down for the summer. I've had time to quilt some customer quilts and do a little sewing. It's also time to start building this year's Canoe Carnival float. Our design this year is simple, so it should be an easy build. I designed this year's float, so I hope it turns out! The boss is happy...he can use power tools. As he always says about Canoe Carnival...You combine beer, electricity, power tools and water...what's not to love?

If I get something done, I'll be back later with a peek at the latest quilt I'm working on. I need to add some pink to it!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Graduation

Grace graduated from 8th grade on Tuesday night, complete with gown and aircast!
Congratulations, Grace...I'm so proud of you! I found it amusing that her graduation of almost 60 kids was about 20 minutes longer than the high school graduation, where 370 kids graduated!
Now summer can really begin...Grace will be going to Dorney Park tomorrow with the acolytes from our church on their annual trip. I'm planning to head north to Pennington Quilt Works for my annual "birthday trek", so I can use the coupon they sent me. I'm debating whether, with gas prices as high as they are, I should make the drive. But hey...my birthday is on Sunday, so I think I'll treat myself!
As another treat, I've decided I'm going to take guitar lessons. I've always wanted to learn to play. Grace had been taking lessons for almost a year from a great guy, but she's decided that she's done. So, I'm going to take her guitar and her time slot! I'm nervous about it...but I'm looking forward to it. I'm may be Van's first guitar student to fail!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Containers...

Sweet P over at Coffee Time Quilt Studio has been showing her storage containers in her sewing room this week. She's invited us to join in, so here are a few of mine...

A Pfaltzgraff basket I keep my patterns in....


A Simplicity pattern tin for odds and ends...


A Christmas Milky Way tin for my pens, pencils and markers....


Tiered boxes...top one is filled with thread, the middle one is fabric scraps and the bottom is empty for now....


A little box for needles, pins, etc....

And just because it's for Sweet P, a picture of my son touching the Green Monster on June 6...he and his dad drove up to Boston to see a game. It was his first time at Fenway, it was probably the best day of his life! Of course, it would have been better if the Red Sox won!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

One down...

Ellen graduated from high school last night, so that's one graduation down...


and one middle school graduation on Tuesday to go. Congratulations, Ellen! I'm so proud of you!

Saturday, June 07, 2008

8th Grade Dance

Every year, the 8th grade graduates have an end of the year dance. Years ago it was at a restaurant and got to the point that it was like a prom...fancy dresses and limousines. At some point, long before I moved here, the parents decided it was too much for 8th graders and decided that they would have the kids choose a theme and the parents would decorate the gym, as a gift. It's become the highlight of going to school here. The kids know the theme, but have no idea what the parents are doing. They're led into the gym in a group and the look of amazement on their faces is always priceless. This year was no exception. The theme was "The Jersey Shore" and many of the towns were represented.

There was a miniature golf course, like you'd find on the boardwalk...

They could play skee ball in front of Lucy the Elephant in Margate....

There was an arcade....

And of course an under the sea themed dance floor, complete with disco ball!

In Cape May they could have their pictures taken in old fashioned costumes on the front porch of a Victorian house...

In Sea Isle City they could have their fortunes told by a gypsy....


In Wildwood they could get tattoos (the boss and I made the tattoo parlor!)

We even had some cruise directors...

The parents were allowed to stay for the first half hour of the dance so they could see the kids come in and check everything out...then we were kicked out. But...there was also an inflatable bungee jumping thing that led from Grace having a wonderful time....


To a trip to the emergency room this morning....

Fortunately it's not broken, but she'll be on crutches for a week. The night certainly was memorable!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Stripping...

I've been cutting my leftover fabrics into strips for the last year or so and had accumulated quite a collection of them. I've made a few quilts with them...a couple of log cabins, some heartstrings blocks, nine patch quilts, but the boxes never seemed to empty, no matter how many I used. I would look at them and feel guilty that I had them all neatly cut and rarely used them. I did think about using up bunches of them in Bonnie's Orange Crush quilt, but I haven't found the time to work on it. So there they sat...until tonight.

This morning at school, the art teacher came to me and said, "You're a quilter. Would you have any scraps that you'd like to donate to the art classes? We make puppets and the fabric I have has been rooted through for so many years, I just can't look at it again. What I really need is strips of fabric, we use them for the arms of the puppets..." Strips? Did she say STRIPS? Of course I have strips. So the bags above are going to the art teacher tomorrow....and my strip bins are EMPTY!!!!


I don't know how many yards of fabric are in there, but all of them have been used in one quilt or another over the years and it's nice to see them going to a good home. AND THEY'RE OUT OF MY SEWING ROOM!!! Of course, I did manage to make room for a few new fabrics in the last week. The fabrics below are from my stash and have been paired with the new fairy fabric from Michael Miller. These will become a quilt for a special little girl.

And these are....just because I loved them when I stopped in The Little Shop a few weeks ago. I have no idea what they'll become.


Judy was having a Quiltathon today and I got to play a little bit. I spent several hours quilting on a customer quilt. I'm quilting an all over feather design and today was one of those days where I got "in the zone" and it felt good to quilt. Until my back started to hurt. So I went upstairs and sewed the binding on the front of the second graduation quilt. The handsewing will be done over the weekend since it's going to be hot and humid here for the next few days...I'll be sitting under an air conditioning vent while I sew!

Wow, two posts in the same week...my mom is going to be happy! :o)


Monday, June 02, 2008

Monday Evening...

and I'm still here! I'm fully recovered from my bout with strep, thanks for all the well wishes! It's been crazy busy here, preparing for all of the graduation events for our girls...Ellen is graduating high school and Grace is graduating 8th grade in the next few weeks. One of the graduation quilts is bound....the binding is made for the other, but not on yet. I pulled a two yard piece of fabric from the stash to make binding and for some reason decided that I needed ALL of it to bind these two quilts. After doing one, I'm quite certain I'll be able to bind 4 or 5 more quilts with this binding...two yards goes a long way!

I decided to clean out some scraps for the back of these quilts, so here's the back for quilt #1. Quilt #2 is equally busy!
After busting all this stash, it was time to buy a few things to brighten up my collection. Pictures of those soon...I washed them and need to iron them.

On Saturday we had our first work meeting for Canoe Carnival...August 2nd is the date this year and it will come quickly. Our theme is decided, construction is planned and we'll actually start building on Saturday. This year the boss is the group captain. Our other fearless leader will be heading to Iraq in August, but leaves for training on June 10th. He'll be deployed to Iraq for 400 days. His son will also be deployed to Iraq in the fall. If you can, please say a prayer for their safety and for the safe return of all of our soldiers.

Quilter Blog

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